WasteWise: Reducing Solid Waste
Instead of simply touting the environmental benefits of reducing waste, reusing supplies, and recycling packaging materials and other products, TVA employees strive to be earth-friendly role models through their actions. That’s why TVA signed on as a federal charter partner in the EPA’s WasteWise program.
Launched in 1994, WasteWise is a voluntary program designed to help companies reduce the solid waste they generate. The 800-plus organizations that participate in the program have made a commitment to achieve results in three areas: reducing solid waste, collecting recyclables, and using recycled materials.
The WasteWise goals match TVA’s focus on stimulating economic growth by protecting natural resources and building partnerships for the public benefit.As a WasteWise partner TVA has committed to:
- Reduce solid waste by 30 percent by the year 2005.
- Reuse office supplies, computers and other electronic equipment, and furniture through TVA’s Investment Recovery and Partners in Education programs.
- Recycle packaging.
- Expand office waste recycling programs to include TVA locations outside of corporate facilities.
- Recycle during meetings, in conference areas, and at special events.
- Recycle 1.8 to 3.6 million metric tons (two to four million tons) of coal combustion products, or 40 percent of the total current production.
- Explore opportunities to purchase more items made from recycled materials or with a higher recycled content to replace current products used.
- Increase purchases of EPA-designated items that contain recycled content by 35 percent by 2005.
- In 2002-2003, TVA not only met the solid waste reduction target, but surpassed it by 13 percent, for a total reduction of 11,422 metric tons (12,591 tons). TVA is actively recycling cardboard, mixed and white paper, aluminum cans, and toner cartridges.
- In 2002-2003, TVA recycled 2.7 million metric tons (almost 3 million tons), or 55 percent, of coal combustion products.
- In fiscal year 2002, TVA spent $2.7 million on recycled content materials that met the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). That represented 30 percent of its $8.9 million investment in EPA-designated commodities with recycled content. An additional $61.2 million was spent on other recycled-content material.
- In fiscal year 2003, TVA increased its commitment to RCRA materials by spending $5.9 million (49 percent of $11.99 million spent on EPA-designated commodities with recycled content) and an additional $63.4 million on other recycled-content materials.
TVA helps manufacturing customers reduce pollution by applying creative solutions to waste-related problems. Colbert County, Alabama, selected TVA’s patented Reciprocating Constructed Wetlands technology, called ReCip, to treat wastewater at its Barton Riverfront Industrial Park. ReCip’s easy installation and low operation and maintenance costs make it an ideal choice for industrial sites where existing treatment systems have reached capacity or expansion would be too costly. By alternately pumping wastewater between wetland cells, the ReCip technology maintains optimum conditions for growing aquatic plants and microbes that naturally remove organic matter, ammonia, nitrate, phosphorus, and other pollutants. As an added benefit, the site is aesthetically pleasing, creating an attractive green space.